|Front View: Closed||Rear View: Closed|
|Front View: Open for Rigging||Rear View: Open for Rigging|
I acquired my Tupa on eBay from Strade FarEast Ltd. (eBay seller Jewelleri) in 2019.
The Tupa is 192 mm. tall, 93 mm. wide, 27 mm. thick, and weighs 214 g.
The shell is a tall irregular shaped stamping made from 3.8 mm. aluminum alloy sheet metal. A 14 mm. wide rope channel is formed in the upper portion of one side and a smaller cam channel lies opposite the first. A hole drilled through both sides of the cam channel accepts a 6 mm. semi-tubular rivet. The cam and cam spring are mounted on this rivet. The handle below the cam has a soft "rubbery" hand grip molded into place. A 15.2 mm. sling attachment hole is punched below the handle opening, and a smaller 11.6 mm. hole is punched outside the first. A 18.4 by 16.4 mm.oval hole punched through both sides of the rope channel provides an attachment point just above the cam. A stamped reinforcing rib extends from the bottom of the shell up the front strap, and a second reinforcing rib extends behind the cam.
The cam is a plated skeletonized steel casting. The cam radius increases from 40 to 54 mm. over an angle of 36°, giving a 25° cam angle. The cam has number of small conical teeth. The upper teeth are parallel to the top of the cam, but the lower teeth have their axes sloping downward. The tooth pattern is (3.4)(1S1.1S1)(4)(1S1)^3(220.127.116.11.3) where the S stands for a central slot.
A spring-loaded aluminum manual safety tab is riveted to the cam. The normal action of the safety spring holds the safety against the cam. When the cam is opened, the shell interferes with the safety, thus preventing opening the cam. If the safety is moved away from the cam (opposing the spring), it will clear the shell and the cam will open. At full open the safety can be released and the spring will hold the safety against the back of the shell. This provides a means of locking the cam open.
The front of the rope channel is printed with a rigging icon, an up pointing arrow, "UP," "ROPE Ø8-13MM," and "Max 140KG." The front of the front strap is printed with a logo, "TUPA," and "expand climbing." The rear is printed with "CE" and "EN 567:2013."
These are well-made ascenders and perform much like the Petzl Ascension. All sharp edges have been removed. The attachment points are simple holes in the shell. They have sharp edges that I recommend rounding with a fine file; even so, I would consider their small radius too sharp for directly attaching sling ropes. Considering the proximity of the attachment points to the main rope, I would recommend using a small maillon for most attachments in order to reduce the risk of sling abrasion. The lower attachment hole could theoretically have the same safety problems as the one on Clog Version A. The upper rope attachment hole is located very close to the main rope. A carabiner through the upper attachment hole will probably drag on the main line. Note that such a carabiner will prevent putting the ascender on or off rope, so one’s climbing system must be designed accordingly.
The safety is relatively easy to use with the proper hand, and operates very smoothly. It is difficult to use with the "wrong" hand.
This ascender has the same pit lip disadvantage as the Clog and other stamped frame ascenders, although the reinforcing will help prevent bending.
I'm not sure the extra holes are needed at the base. Except for the Petzl Pompe, I've never found a real need for a second hole. Some people like them, and I might find them more appealing if they were large enough for a standard carabiner to fit through.
The Tupa is identical to the Zeluga ascender.